Writers: Vanessa and Ingrid Opera

Vanessa and Ingrid Opera

Vanessa and Ingrid share food and photography as their passions. They started www.foodopera.com in 2009, when they both started having kids. Their blog is a journey through the ups and downs of motherhood with ideas and recipes that have helped make their busy lives a little easier and more enjoyable.It also has lots of fun features such as cook offs between the two sisters.

Family Christmas menu – Marmalade and whiskey glazed ham

Family Christmas Menu

If you’ve been thinking about what to cook for your family Christmas, here’s a treat for you! This menu has lots of colour, great flavours and there’s something for everyone. Even better, it’s not to complicated and you could even get different family members to prepare each course. Each menu is in a different post – just click on the links to get to the next recipe. In this post – Marmalade and whiskey glazed ham. Continue reading »

Family Christmas menu – Summer asian slaw

Family Christmas menu

This recipe is part of our gorgeous family Christmas menu – for those of you who are after a fresh, tasty and easy menu that will please the whole family. In this article, is the recipe for our Summer Asian Slaw. If you haven’t already, you might like to check out the rest of the menu – just click on the links below.

Marmalade and whiskey glazed ham

Retro raspberry and beetroot jelly 

Summer Asian Slaw

Summer ratatouille

Passionberry Pavlova

Summer Asian Slaw


1 cup shredded white cabbage

1 cup shredded red cabbage

2 carrots peeled and grated

1 raw beetroot peeled and grated

1/2 daikon (or 4 radishes) peeled and grated (daikon is sometimes called a Chinese radish)

Toasted sesame seeds for garnish

1 finely chopped spring onion or finely chopped mint for garnish

Using a food processor (easy) or a hand grater prepare the following ingredients and mix in a large bowl.

Sesame Dressing

6 Tbsp roasted sesame seeds (place in a non-stick pan and toast on a low heat until they start to colour)

4 Tbsp mayonaise

4 Tbsp rice vinegar

3 Tbsp soy sauce

2 tsp sugar

1 tsp sesame oil

Pince of salt

Place seasame seeds in a non-stick pan and toast on a low heat until they start to colour.

Set a few seeds aside as garnish. Using a mortar and pestle grind the warm sesame seeds to a coarse consistency.

Combine all ingredients including the seeds in a food processor and blitz until combined. (Or shaking it in a tightly sealed jar will work too)

Pour over the coleslaw and mix well.

Garnish with finely chopped spring onion or mint and toasted sesame seeds.

Don’t forget to check out the other recipes in this Family Christmas Menu… there’re all delicious! 

Marmalade and whiskey glazed ham

Retro raspberry and beetroot jelly 

Summer ratatouille

Passionberry Pavlova

Coconut and Orange Cookies

Coconut and Orange Cookies

The best thing you can do for your kids is give them your time. So get them involved in some cooking for the family this weekend, or for younger kids try some baking. Not only is it fun for the entire family, it teaches important life skills. Continue reading »

Roast dinner platter

lamb roast dinner

Growing up in a family that is half Italian and half Kiwi means we ate a variety of dishes ranging from Italian pastas to schnitzels. There was always a Tupperware container in the fridge filled with European cheeses, olives, salami and pâtés – and it was frequently raided!  Continue reading »

Asian style roast chicken becomes Chicken noodle soup the next night

Asian style Roast chicken-FoodOpera

Roasts are huge time savers, good for the budget, and they are dinners you can prepare and shove in the oven with a kid hanging from your hip. You can’t really stuff them up and the smell wafting through the house is magic. It seems such a waste to throw away the chicken carcass after a roast. There is so much flavour just waiting to be upcycled – and that is the concept of double duty dinners. Most of the prep is done the first night, you use up all your leftovers and you get two family meals out of it. Roast chicken is a hearty and healthy option for a family dinner. Make it even better for you, by not eating the chicken skin. The leftovers become a Chicken noodle soup, with a homemade broth/stock. It’s an excellent way to reduce your salt intake, as a lot of store bought stocks are high in salt. Continue reading »

Lemon loaf for dad

lemon loaf for dad

You can’t beat a spot of DIY on Fathers Day, especially when your efforts are matched with the most delicious lemony baking smells that will wake dad up and put him in the best mood to start the day. If you’re delivering your loaf to dad simply wrap it up in baking paper and tie with a bit of string. If dad has a sweet tooth, pour your icing into an old jam jar and give it to dad to spread it over the loaf for morning or afternoon tea.

Continue reading »

Easy roasted vegetables


Roasted vegetables are so easy, nutritious and great when you don’t have the luxury of time to fiddle around in the kitchen especially when you have kids tugging at your apron strings. They are also economical and a great way to use up the stray vegetables hanging around in the fridge. Any leftovers can be turned into a salad the next night, simply add baby spinach leaves, nuts or seeds, chopped feta and vinaigrette. Continue reading »

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